2001 Prius Warning lights and check engine problem

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by shanerm5, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. shanerm5

    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Jul 23, 2009
    Los Angeles
    2001 Prius
    Hi everyone,
    I'm new here and am hoping some of you can chime in on what you think the problem might be with my 2001 prius.

    First off, let me just say that I have driven it about twice in the past month or so. Last night while driving about 3 miles away the warning light came on the with the red triangle popped up on the mfd. Of the three indicators its the one all the way on the right hand side. The check engine light came on as well. After stopping and grabbing a bite, and letting the car take a breather I decided to drive back home. It drove fine and I didn't notice any issues accelerating. It does have 99k miles on it.

    I've been reading some similar posts and I don't know if the 12v battery has been changed out because it is actually my girlfriends car. I'm hoping that's all it could be. She had it washed last month and stuck some kind of air freshener in the cigarette lighter port. It doesn't light up when the car is not running but since the car is rarely driven, I'm thinking it might be slowly draining the 12v battery.

    Like I said, please chime in! I would rather not take it to the dealership since we are strapped for cash.

  2. bwilson4web

    Expand Collapse
    03 and 10 Prius

    Nov 25, 2005
    Huntsville AL with 2003 Prius
    2010 Prius

    First turn the car on and off three times to see if the indicator goes off. This will reset the display although the error codes will still be in the control computers. But it lets you see if the problem is a transient or permanent error.

    Your control computers will keep the error codes. Many of the auto parts stores have scanners and will, for the asking, go out and read the codes. Make a note and then ask Mr. Google what they mean. If still confused, follow-up post here and someone will probably have a more definitive answer. But try Mr. Google first.

    There are many things that can cause an error code ranging from sticky throttle plate ($10) to some seriously ugly things ($5,000.) But the error code is the road map so let's start with the facts and data and then go forward.

    Bob Wilson
  3. tochatihu

    Expand Collapse
    Senior Member

    Apr 10, 2004
    Kunming Yunnan China
    2001 Prius
    The 12 volt acc socket is not 'live' when the car is off, so drop that from the list.

    Aside from the codes advice above, there are two ways to assess the 12 v battery. One invloves being handy with a voltmeter. The other:

    Toyota Prius Controls

    about 2/3 way down the page, starting at "diagnostics"